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1.  Enhanced expression of cyclo-oxygenase isoenzyme 2 (COX-2) in asthmatic airways and its cellular distribution in aspirin-sensitive asthma 
Thorax  1997;52(11):940-945.
BACKGROUND: There are two isoforms of cyclo-oxygenase (COX), namely COX- 1 and COX-2. COX-1 is constitutively expressed in most tissues and in blood platelets. The metabolites derived from COX-1 are probably involved in cellular housekeeping functions. COX-2 is expressed only following cellular activation by inflammatory stimuli and is thought to be involved in inflammation. METHODS: The expression of COX-1 and COX-2 isoenzymes has been studied in the bronchial mucosa of 10 normal and 18 asthmatic subjects, 11 of whom had aspirin-sensitive asthma (ASA) and seven had non-aspirin-sensitive asthma (NASA) RESULTS: There was a significant fourfold and 14-fold increase, respectively, in the epithelial and submucosal cellular expression of COX-2, but not of COX- 1, in asthmatic patients. There was no significant difference in the total number of cells staining for either COX-1 or COX-2 between subjects with ASA and NASA, but the number and percentage of mast cells that expressed COX-2 was significantly increased sixfold and twofold, respectively, in individuals with ASA. There was a mean fourfold increase in the percentage of COX-2 expressing cells that were mast cells in subjects with ASA and the number of eosinophils expressing COX- 2 was increased 2.5-fold in these subjects. CONCLUSION: COX-2-derived metabolites may play an essential part in the inflammatory processes present in asthmatic airways and development of drugs targeted at this isoenzyme may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of asthma. Mast cells and eosinophils may also have a central role in the pathology of aspirin-sensitive asthma. 



PMCID: PMC1758450  PMID: 9487340
2.  Leukotriene B4 and asthma. 
Thorax  1996;51(12):1171-1173.
PMCID: PMC472757  PMID: 8994510
3.  Effect of endobronchial aspirin challenge on inflammatory cells in bronchial biopsy samples from aspirin-sensitive asthmatic subjects. 
Thorax  1996;51(1):64-70.
BACKGROUND: The aspirin-induced bronchoconstriction in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma is caused by cysteinyl leukotriene release. The cellular source of the leukotrienes is unknown. The inflammatory cell infiltrate in bronchial biopsy samples from seven aspirin-sensitive asthmatic (ASA) subjects and eight non-ASA subjects before and after local challenge with lysine aspirin was therefore examined. METHODS: Using flexible bronchoscopy, airway mucosal biopsy samples were taken and lysine aspirin solution was placed directly onto a carina of the contralateral lung. Twenty minutes later a second series of biopsy samples was taken from the site of the local endobronchial lysine aspirin challenge. The biopsy samples were double immunostained with a rabbit polyclonal antibody to the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase and monoclonal antibodies to mast cells (AA1), neutrophils (NP57), macrophages (EBM11), T lymphocytes (anti-CD3), and total (BMK13) and activated eosinophils (EG2). RESULTS: A decrease in both absolute mast cell numbers staining with mast cell tryptase (AA1) and the percentage of mast cells co-immunostaining with 5-lipoxygenase was seen in the ASA patients after lysine aspirin challenge compared with the non-ASA control group. There was also an increase in the numbers of activated eosinophils (EG2) in the ASA subjects compared with the non-ASA group. No changes were observed in the total numbers of macrophages (EBM11), neutrophils (NP57), total eosinophils (BMK13), and T lymphocytes (anti-CD3) after challenge with lysine aspirin. CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in numbers of mast cells staining for tryptase and the increase in activated eosinophils after endobronchial challenge with lysine aspirin may represent degranulation of these cell types, and may be an early event associated with aspirin-sensitive reactions in ASA subjects.
PMCID: PMC472802  PMID: 8658372
4.  Blockade of CD49d (alpha4 integrin) on intrapulmonary but not circulating leukocytes inhibits airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of asthma. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(12):3083-3092.
Immunized mice after inhalation of specific antigen have the following characteristic features of human asthma: airway eosinophilia, mucus and Th2 cytokine release, and hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. A model of late-phase allergic pulmonary inflammation in ovalbumin-sensitized mice was used to address the role of the alpha4 integrin (CD49d) in mediating the airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness. Local, intrapulmonary blockade of CD49d by intranasal administration of CD49d mAb inhibited all signs of lung inflammation, IL-4 and IL-5 release, and hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. In contrast, CD49d blockade on circulating leukocytes by intraperitoneal CD49d mAb treatment only prevented the airway eosinophilia. In this asthma model, a CD49d-positive intrapulmonary leukocyte distinct from the eosinophil is the key effector cell of allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation and hyperresponsiveness.
PMCID: PMC508521  PMID: 9399955
5.  Leukotrienes and aspirin induced asthma. 
Thorax  1993;48(12):1189-1190.
PMCID: PMC464963  PMID: 8303620

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